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Self-Inflicted Confusion - The Obama Campaign's Comedown
NYT ^ | April 24th, 2008 | Paul Krugman

Posted on 04/24/2008 9:58:54 PM PDT by The_Republican

After Barack Obama’s defeat in Pennsylvania, David Axelrod, his campaign manager, brushed it off: “Nothing has changed tonight in the basic physics of this race.”

He may well be right — but what a comedown. A few months ago the Obama campaign was talking about transcendence. Now it’s talking about math. “Yes we can” has become “No she can’t.”

This wasn’t the way things were supposed to play out.

Mr. Obama was supposed to be a transformational figure, with an almost magical ability to transcend partisan differences and unify the nation. Once voters got to know him — and once he had eliminated Hillary Clinton’s initial financial and organizational advantage — he was supposed to sweep easily to the nomination, then march on to a huge victory in November.

Well, now he has an overwhelming money advantage and the support of much of the Democratic establishment — yet he still can’t seem to win over large blocs of Democratic voters, especially among the white working class.

As a result, he keeps losing big states. And general election polls suggest that he might well lose to John McCain.

What’s gone wrong?

According to many Obama supporters, it’s all Hillary’s fault. If she hadn’t launched all those vile, negative attacks on their hero — if she had just gone away — his aura would be intact, and his mission of unifying America still on track.

But how negative has the Clinton campaign been, really? Yes, it ran an ad that included Osama bin Laden in a montage of crisis images that also included the Great Depression and Hurricane Katrina. To listen to some pundits, you’d think that ad was practically the same as the famous G.O.P. ad accusing Max Cleland of being weak on national security.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: confused; lost; obama; underfire

1 posted on 04/24/2008 9:58:55 PM PDT by The_Republican
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To: The_Republican
He just can't run with the bigger older girls!
2 posted on 04/24/2008 10:02:21 PM PDT by BellStar (Obamas got friends in Oil Places where the oil flows in the Oasis?)
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To: The_Republican
what happen?....RUSH HAPPENED....Operation Chaos continues....
3 posted on 04/24/2008 10:10:30 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (just b/c you're paranoid,doesn't mean "they" aren't out to get you..our hopes were dashed by CINOs :)
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To: The_Republican
From the beginning, I wondered what Mr. Obama’s soaring rhetoric, his talk of a new politics and declarations that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” (waiting for to do what, exactly?) would mean to families troubled by lagging wages, insecure jobs and fear of losing health coverage. The answer, from Ohio and Pennsylvania, seems pretty clear: not much.
This election is going to be 1952 all over again:
The "soaring rhetoric" of an elitist liberal Democrat's "New Politics" vs. the common sense of an immensely popular Republican war hero who appeals to the broad center. Right down to neither candidate being a sitting President or Vice President.
 
4 posted on 04/24/2008 10:33:27 PM PDT by counterpunch (Kick McCain upstairs)
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To: skinkinthegrass

Exit polls reveal that 6% of Hillary’s voters will vote for John McCain against her in November.
That’s approximately 75,000 voters, over a tird of her margin of victory - about 4 points.
That’s the quantifiable impact of Operation Chaos.


5 posted on 04/24/2008 10:36:10 PM PDT by counterpunch (Kick McCain upstairs)
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To: skinkinthegrass

Exit polls reveal that 6% of Hillary’s voters will vote for John McCain against her in November.
That’s approximately 75,000 voters, over a third of her margin of victory - about 4 points.
That’s the quantifiable impact of Operation Chaos.


6 posted on 04/24/2008 10:36:34 PM PDT by counterpunch (Kick McCain upstairs)
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To: counterpunch

Watching the Clinton Inaugural (what I could before the remote hit the screen), I said “the Emperor has no clothes”. Alas, the Dems are about to nominate another who “wears no clothes”. One thing the Dems get right is they put up a phony each and every time, trying to push a Marxist agenda on people who FLED countries where socialism or a dictatorship, failed. Half of Cuba lives here for pity sake, you would think these people would learn. Where is Emma Lazarus when we need her...”the poor huddled masses, yearning to be FREE!!!!”


7 posted on 04/24/2008 11:33:09 PM PDT by Semperfiwife (It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing)
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To: Semperfiwife

Let’s hope this naked one never ascends the “imperial throne.”


8 posted on 04/24/2008 11:39:24 PM PDT by karnage
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To: The_Republican

“you’d think that ad was practically the same as the famous G.O.P. ad accusing Max Cleland of being weak on national security.”

It is. Same concept, same truth.


9 posted on 04/24/2008 11:52:38 PM PDT by WOSG (Gameplan: Obama beats Hillary, McCain beats Obama, conservatives beat RINOs)
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To: The_Republican

10 posted on 04/25/2008 12:43:11 AM PDT by ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas (I want to "Buy American" but the only things for sale made in the USA are politicians)
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To: counterpunch
But when should Operation Chaos end? The analysis is very tricky now. If Hillary gets the nomination, Obama might decide to be VP. Then Republicans may have a real problem: the unification of the Democratic Party and not an inconsequential number of independents. Plus, an almost assured Obama presidency down the road as conservative, older whites die off, whose experiences with communism makes them oppose Obama.

Hillary, however, won't accept VP. It's just not in her. This is her last chance to capture the presidency: her unfavorables can only get worse, particularly with blacks.

I say let Obama and Hillary duke it out. Obama has made the road tougher for himself in Indiana, Kentucky and even, I believe, in North Carolina.

The thing is that Hillary can't catch up to Obama's lead. I don't think the Dims and white Dims, in particular, will deny Obama the nomination, probably out of fear. We need to end Operation Chaos and not use it against Hillary because those disgruntled Hillary voters will vote for McCain.

If Operation Chaos continues against Obama, then Republican meddling can be used by Obama to woo Hillary supporters in the general.

McCain can crush Obama whose poor showing in these last few contests will expose how unpopular he is with the rural working class.

11 posted on 04/25/2008 12:58:03 AM PDT by TheThinker (Capitalism is the natural result of a democratic government.)
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To: TheThinker

Obama isn’t going to accept the VP slot. And Hillary already said she would pick a VP who was ready to be president on day 1, and Obama isn’t ready to be president.

Hillary may indeed ask anyways though, if she thinks it would help her politically, but Obama would say no and then claim she never asked him. He knows that after she loses, he’s the de facto nominee in 2012. He wants her to lose, then no one will stand in his way. As the VP nominee on a losing ticket, he may find himself the John Edwards of 2012.

Obama is fundamentally weak. It isn’t just his inexperience. It is also his history, his worldview, and the fundamental distrust of blacks by blue-collar white Democrats.

As Rush says, Operation Chaos is not about picking the Democrats’ nominee, and we should not be concerned with that. We are not managing their primary. We can’t. We are only concerned with creating as much disarray, doubt, and confusion among the Democrats, and keeping their fight going until the bitter divisive end. So Operation Chaos does not end until November. There are other ways we will be stirring the pot besides just voting in their primaries. We must keep the wounds fresh even beyond Denver.

While we are not concerned with which candidate is their nominee, after all, McCain will handily defeat either, it may be to our benefit that it is Clinton, and not Obama. Once Hillary is defeated, the Clintons will be blamed for blowing what was supposed to be a sure win in a Democrat year, and they will be exiled from the seat of power forever. “Clinton” will become a dirty word.

And there is a much more formidable Democrat on the horizon: Ted Strickland, governor of Ohio.
Gov. Strickland is a moderate and extremely popular centrist Democrat, with even a majority approval rating among Republicans in this must-win state for the GOP. has served 2 years now, and will be halfway into his second term in 2012, perfect timing for a presidential run. If moderate Democrats can keep the fringe left under control, they would be stupid not to nominate him, and he would be unbeatable. Barrack Obama losing the nomination this year and running again in 2012 is perhaps the only thing that can prevent this from happening.

It may very well be that it is in the GOP’s interest that Obama waits his turn to lose in a general election.


12 posted on 04/25/2008 1:36:05 AM PDT by counterpunch (Kick McCain upstairs)
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To: TheThinker

McCain can crush Obama whose poor showing in these last few contests will expose how unpopular he is with the rural working class.

Problem with McCain is that he for some reason refuses to fight Obama. That will be a problem I believe in the general if he continues this track.


13 posted on 04/25/2008 1:36:33 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: TheThinker
If Operation Chaos continues against Obama, then Republican meddling can be used by Obama to woo Hillary supporters in the general.
I think that's flawed logic, because a great many of Hillary's voters would vote for McCain over Obama. That is already their disposition.
We need to end Operation Chaos and not use it against Hillary because those disgruntled Hillary voters will vote for McCain.
Operation Chaos will never be used against Hillary. Do not be confused. It is not to give one win to Hillary and then the next to Obama. It is to keep Hillary in, and encourage her to take her fight to the Convention floor. She has a steep road ahead, and it may be futile regardless of what happens. No matter what, Hillary will not win the pledged delegates. Obama will be seen as the "rightful" winner, no matter what. We need a scenario so dire for the Democrats that it takes them to the brink of taking it from Obama. That is the Chaos of Operation Chaos. This is the ultimate Nuclear Option for the Democrats, and if they use it, all hell will break loose. If they don't use it after Obama limps to the finish line, barely ahead in pledged delegates, behind in the popular vote, and after having lost the last 10 primaries, then the race will be over before it even began, and the Democrats will go down to a 49 state defeat. And the Clintons will be blamed for that, too. If Operation Chaos is successfully executed to its conclusion, then no matter what happens, it will be a lose-lose prospect for the Democrats and the Clintons in November.
14 posted on 04/25/2008 1:50:43 AM PDT by counterpunch (Kick McCain upstairs)
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To: napscoordinator
Problem with McCain is that he for some reason refuses to fight Obama. That will be a problem I believe in the general if he continues this track.
I understand your inclination to be frustrated with McCain, but there is method to his madness. Understand here, he is running as Dwight D. Eisenhower against Adlai Stevenson. He's running as the All-American hero, not a partisan fighter. He wants to appeal to the broad center. He knows Obama will be taken to the woodshed by others. He can say it's not the kind of race he wants to run, but the damage is already done to Obama, and McCain doesn't want to get any blowback.

He knows he's going to march to victory in November, and so rather than being concerned with winning at any cost, he's concerned with how he wins. He wants history to look back on his race and say he ran a dignified, elevated campaign.

He also doesn't want to be called a racist.
 
15 posted on 04/25/2008 2:02:34 AM PDT by counterpunch (Kick McCain upstairs)
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To: skinkinthegrass
Operation Chaos could well backfire on us.

Should have let Obama take care of Hillary once and for all.

Now (with Obama's negatives being brought to light), Hillary's got a shot at the Dem nomination. Delegates could defect from Obama's camp if they see him as unelectable.

Obama may have "peaked" too soon. He's on the decline, and Hillary will be left holding the bag.

IMO, she'll be much more difficult to defeat in the General.

Thanks, Rush.

16 posted on 04/25/2008 2:12:25 AM PDT by Jess Kitting
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To: counterpunch
I hope you are right. We need to have a Republican in the White House this round for sure. Yes I know we won't always have a Republican in the White House...I am not that naive, but I do believe the next four years are critical.
17 posted on 04/25/2008 2:33:22 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: Jess Kitting

We need Hillary dividing the Democrats. Period.
Either candidate will lose in November.
But what we need is Republicans motivated to come out and vote against the Democrat candidate, and then vote for the Republicans in down ballot races.
Hillary will not only lose, but she’ll sweep the Democrats in Congress out of power with her. It was looking like Obama wouldn’t. But thanks to Hillary, he may now as well.

There are many races in November other than just the one for President.
We need to be thinking about those, too.


18 posted on 04/25/2008 2:41:47 AM PDT by counterpunch (Kick McCain upstairs)
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To: The_Republican
“Nothing has changed tonight in the basic physics of this race.”

In all honestly, wasn't the gap something like 20 points a few weeks ago? He closed it down to 8.6%. PA was always in Hillary's column. It's disappointing he couldn't close on it, certainly, but it's not the catastrophe it sounds like.

If he can't win a couple of decisive victories in the coming primaries, it's going to be a big problem.

Hillary is certainly "not dead yet".

And the Freepers who are supporting her by actually voting for her should feel an uncomfortable chill running up their spine. NOT the kind Chris Matthews would enjoy.

19 posted on 04/25/2008 2:54:40 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: Caipirabob

Watch out for Puerto Rico. There are 63 delegates and a huge popular vote....and everything likely goes to Hillary.


20 posted on 04/25/2008 3:07:15 AM PDT by Sacajaweau ("The Cracker" will be renamed "The Crapper")
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To: ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas

Perfect.


21 posted on 04/25/2008 3:32:57 AM PDT by SueRae
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To: The_Republican
Paul Krugman Former ENRON Economist!
22 posted on 04/25/2008 4:07:03 AM PDT by ricks_place
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To: Caipirabob

Suppose Hillary wins in North Carolina then what ? Thats right Hillary can still do this and all the Blacks will riot. Oh well Decisions, Decisions


23 posted on 04/25/2008 4:07:07 AM PDT by ballplayer
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To: The_Republican

No confusion at all, Paul. As facts are revealed to rational people they will make decisions based on the content of these politician’s character(s).


24 posted on 04/25/2008 4:25:33 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas
excellent post/sharp point....and there's gonna be allot of "Buyers' remorse."....too bad...America, ya can't correct it for @ least two years.
25 posted on 04/25/2008 8:07:15 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (just b/c you're paranoid,doesn't mean "they" aren't out to get you..our hopes were dashed by CINOs :)
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To: counterpunch
Hillary will not only lose, but she’ll sweep the Democrats in Congress out of power with her.

I wish I could have the same optimism as you.
Unfortunately, my confidence in the GOP has declined.

It's Hillary's to lose, and that is not something she does well, despite all the things she has going against her.

26 posted on 04/25/2008 9:09:36 PM PDT by Jess Kitting
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